Baked Mussels with Herbed Butter

I LOVE mussels! 

Easy Midia Dolma




Midia dolma is my absolute favorite food,
but I also favor a steaming bowl of mussels in a buttery sauce that cries out
for crusty bread to soak-up the juices. Some folks share mussels as an appetizer;
I prefer to eat them as a main course – NO sharing!


One pet peeve I have, though, is being served mussels which
haven’t been de-bearded. That makes me crazy!
Note to restaurant kitchen staff: I
can forgive mussels with hard-to-see, tiny beards, but for Heaven’s sake, PLEASE
remove those over-sized, dangling ones! Thank you!

For results you can trust, make the mussels at home. Your
best bet is to seek-out a reliable fishmonger. They’ll most-likely have
scrubbed mussels, however, the general cleaning and de-bearding will still be left up to you.

The following recipe is adapted from ‘Gourmet’. I haven’t tried
it yet, but as soon as I’m standing on both feet, this is on my cooking agenda.
Baked Mussels (Photo from sandwichsunday.com)

Baked
Mussels with Herbed Butter

Yield: 2 main course – or – 4 appetizer servings
(adapted from Gourmet)

Ingredients:
2 pounds of mussels
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small bunch of cilantro (or parsley) leaves, roughly
chopped (save some for garnish)
1 small bunch fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces (save some for garnish)
4 to 6 Tbsp. (1/2 to 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
salt and freshly-ground pepper
½ cup white wine
1 lemon, sliced into circles

Directions:

1             1.  Preheat
oven to 450° F.


2       2.    Clean
mussels
: scrub and de-beard mussels; place mussels in a bowl of
room-temperature tap water. Leave mussels in water about 5 minutes to help
release excess dirt. Drain and rinse mussels. NOTE: If any of the
mussels are open, give them a tap with your finger. If they don’t close, discard them.


3. Spread the mussels on a
large, rimmed baking pan, making sure they are in a single layer.


4. In a small saucepan, melt
the butter on medium-low heat; stir in chopped herbs, garlic, salt and pepper.


5. Drizzle herbed butter and
wine over the mussels. Arrange lemon slices on top.  


6. Place baking pan on center
rack in the oven. Bake, uncovered, for about 15 minutes (or until the mussels
open). Discard any unopened mussels. Ladle the mussels and buttery broth into individual bowls.

Garnish with remaining chopped
cilantro, parsley, or basil, if desired.
Serve with crusty bread.
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